Monday, December 10, 2007

Poetry Train Monday - 29 - The Christmas Waltz

Today was the annual Putting Up Christmas Lights Party. Since my sister moved home from Toronto in 2002, we've turned putting up the outside lights for Mom into a mini party. Usually it's just my sister and me, but sometimes my husband Brad joins us. Mom cooks up something yummy while my sister and I start the fun by filling our Christmas mugs with wine. For me now it's whisky. No more wine for my migraines. But the whisky helps, some, as our old friend Randy used to say.

This was us last year. We plug Mom's CD player outside on the porch, and we always start the proceedings with Frank Sinatra's 1957 'A Jolly Christmas'. "I love those J-I-N-G-L-E bells, Oh!" We giggle, we go back inside to get warm, we sing, we go up and down the ladder, we drop hooks, we pass hooks, we untangle lights and cords and deck the front of the house, all to the strains of Frankie. And then we usually move on to the Novelty Salesmen, a local group with fabulous oldtimey harmonies that blend perfectly with Old Blue Eyes. Their 'Christmas on the Town' CD is great.

And this was us, the year before that. Early on in the festivities we come to Frank's 'Christmas Waltz', which has become my FAVORITE Christmas song. I usually stop what I'm doing and just enjoy the magical mood of this song, the lyrics, his gorgeous voice. For the Poetry Train I'm sharing this with you. The lyrics were written by Sammy Cahn, with music by Jule Styne. This link will give you a figure skater's program to Frank Sinatra's song.

The Christmas Waltz by Frank Sinatra

Frosted window panes
Candles gleaming inside
Painted candy canes on the tree
Santa's on his way
He's filled his sleigh with things
Things for you and for me

It's that time of year
When the world falls in love
Ev'ry song you hear seems to say
"Merry Christmas,
"May your New Year dreams come true"

And this song of mine

In three-quarter time

Wishes you and yours

The same thing, too

by Sammy Cahn
(music by Jule Styne)


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Love it, Julia!! That's an awesome tradition.

Jill said...

Is it just another reason to have fun??
But be careful, whiskey and going up ladder might be dangerous(I know it would be for me!)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

My husband just said, "It's not the going up that's so bad. It's the falling down."

Karina said...

OH how great is that? I love Christmas season for many reasons, but the traditions are the biggest reason for sure. This seems like a great fun one.

Akelamalu said...

What a lovely tradition!

This year I put my Dad's Christmas Tree up the day before he was due to come out of hospital as a surprise for him - he was surprised and absolutely thrilled!

Kelly Boyce said...

Looks like a lot of fun, Julia! I know how much you love Christmas!!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Kelly - (tee hee hee)

Unknown said...

See, I need a tradition like that! Even the whiskey. My outside lights still aren't up because my husband doesn't like the cold.


Amy Ruttan said...

WHISKEY???? Did you put the lights up straight? Are they crooked. LOL!!

Julie S said...

Lights and whiskey! Sounds like a fun time! :-)

Sparky Duck said...

great way to start the festivities

Unknown said...

Looks like lots of fun at your house this past weekend.

M. said...

hi julia!
i can always rely on you to have a thoughtful and well illustrated blog post!
apropos of your nursery rhyme icon - have you read any of jasper fforde's nursery crime books? i'm blogging about one in my next book review

Julia Phillips Smith said...

M. - I haven't but I'll look out for them.

Unknown said...

How much fun you have! I know envy's wrong, but your recount of your traditions sorely tempted me! I loved the look cute with those mugs of wine...I mean whiskey. Does that really help migrains?

gautami tripathy said...

Seems like you had a lot of fun! I need an invite!

scientifically insane

Wylie Kinson said...

I'm jealous... my sister lives so far away, and how I'd LOVE to drink whiskey out of Christmas mugs and string lights with her (though they'd be crooked!)

Thanks for sharing your fave song and your family tradition.